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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Re-writing punishment? Songs and narrative problem-solving
Author(s): Crockett Thomas, Phil
McNeill, Fergus
Cathcart Frödén, Lucy
Collinson Scott, Jo
Escobar, Oliver
Urie, Alison
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Issue Date: 1-Mar-2021
Date Deposited: 21-Oct-2022
Citation: Crockett Thomas P, McNeill F, Cathcart Frödén L, Collinson Scott J, Escobar O & Urie A (2021) Re-writing punishment? Songs and narrative problem-solving. <i>Incarceration</i>, 2 (1), Art. No.: 263266632110002.
Abstract: This article analyses findings from the Economic and Social Research Council/Arts and Humanities Research Council (ESRC/AHRC)-funded ‘Distant Voices – Coming Home’ project (ES/POO2536/1), which uses creative methods to explore crime, punishment and reintegration. Focusing on songs co-written in Scottish prisons, we argue that the songs serve to complicate and substantiate our grasp of what state punishment does to people, as well as perhaps affording their prison-based co-writers both moments and modalities of resistance to dominant narratives within criminal justice. In doing so, they creatively express and explore affective and perhaps even unconscious aspects of the self. We argue that our work contributes to a more expansive and considered treatment of narrative in criminology; one that admits and engages with a more diverse and creative range of expressions of experience and selfhood, all of them partial and some of them contradictory. By attending to diverse kinds of narratives embodied in these songs, we learn more about what criminalisation, penalisation and incarceration do to people and to their stories.
DOI Link: 10.1177/26326663211000239
Rights: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (
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